ECI Accessory Drive
Looking for a compact way to mount your A/C compressor and alternator? We're talking compact enough for lots of steering box clearance, fewer steering U-joints, and a bunch more exhaust options. The new Simplicity Engine and Accessory Mounting System from Engineered Components (ECI) might be your answer. The kit shown (PN EC-300) costs $375 and mounts to the front of the block using a total of eight attaching bolts; four at the bottom of the block, and four at the water pump attachment holes between the block and the pump. ECI says this provides an extremely rigid mount. Since no cylinder head or intake manifold attachment points are used, head and intake swaps are a breeze. And check out the engine mounts, which give the ECI kit a pro engine-plate look, only lighter, and without the fabrication hassle. ECI makes the kit for small-block Chevy V-belt applications with either short or long water pumps. Optional driver-side mounts are available for alternator and power steering pump mounting.
Center Line Legend
Center Line's new Legend Series two-piece wheel features the strength of a forged aluminum center and the manufacturing flexibility of a traditional rolled outer hoop. That means you get lots of fitment choices without paying a fortune for expensive three-piece wheels. The Legend is offered in everything from a 15-inch diameter, all the way up to 20-inch sizes, and widths ranging from 6 inches to 15 inches. That's a lot of baloney to put on the road! We're showing it here in the black "retro" look, but a polished version is also offered. Center Line also designed this wheel with an ample mounting pad in order to fit the larger aftermarket brake systems that require extra caliper clearance. We checked the pricing on the Legend Series at one of our favorite outlets, newstalgiawheel.com, and a typical 17x8 five-lug costs $404. While we were poking around the Center Line website, we also stumbled upon four other really cool new wheels for 2009--the Competition Series Qualifier, Competition Series Split-Spoke, Competition Series CRS1, and the Competition Series Nitro2. All of them would look absolutely bitchin' on a muscle car. Center Line's Legend Series 915, shown here in black "retro" trim, is designed for Pro Touring muscle cars with large brake packages. Sizes range from 15- to 20-inch diameter, and 6- to 15-inch widths. Weight on a typical 15-inch Legend is about 20 pounds.
Center Line Wheel
Begin The Bolt-Ons!
It seemed like only yesterday that we were breaking the news about Dodge's milestone Challenger SRT-8 with its 425hp 6.1L Hemi. When they hit dealer lots, they were getting marked up to $50,000, sometimes more. And while the luster certainly hasn't lessened for us, we've recently spotted several examples of low-mileage SRT-8 Challengers on eBay going in the very low $30K range. This signals the time for real gearheads to pounce! MagnaFlow Performance actually got the ball rolling last summer with their stainless steel cat-back system, which is good for a dyno-proven 12 hp and 18 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. The 3-inch dual system uses the same mufflers found on winning Engine Masters Challenge engines, and retails for $1,619.18 with polished quad tips, or $1,293.89 using your stock tips.
Drop It & Stop It!
It's very easy to get into trouble when you order spindles and brakes from different sources--the deal you thought you were getting sometimes goes up in smoke when the parts don't fit, or if they don't work together as a whole. Sometimes it can even happen with high-quality parts from different vendors, so paying big bucks is still no cure. The experts at Classic Performance Parts (CPP) have identified two situations in particular that arise: some companies' big brake kits don't always fit inside some 15-inch wheels, and some companies' drop spindles don't always work with some companies' 15-inch wheels. Interference problems abound with calipers, rims, and spindles, so CPP decided to make their own big brake kit and spindle that would work with the most popular Chevy models. The product line is called New School, and includes 2-inch drop spindles and 12-inch brake systems for '67-69 Camaro, '64-72 Chevelle, '68-74 Nova, and '55-64 fullsize cars.
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Mustang Rear Suspension
Early Mustangs, like their ponycar counterparts at GM, have a rudimentary leaf-spring suspension based on economical compact car mechanicals. These inexpensive suspensions were great back in the day for bringing the initial cost of the car down, but here we are, 40-plus years later, trying to get these suspensions to do the impossible. In recent years, a lot had been done for GM's first-generation Camaro and Firebird, but the Mustang continued to lay fallow--until Total Cost Involved (TCI) took charge.
Rather than take a piecemeal bandage approach to the Mustang with upgraded leaf springs and shocks, TCI decided on a ground-up redesign, forsaking leaf springs for coilovers, a torque arm, and a Panhard bar. The choice is significant in that it banishes nearly every flaw of the original. The axle-mounted torque arm moves the axle's leverage point from the front leaf spring shackles to midcar, thus dramatically improving the instant center. Big improvements to launch bite, traction, and wheelhop are the result. The same geometry also results in decreased brake dive, which translates into more balanced braking. The Panhard part of the equation improves the lateral stability of the rearend while decoupling the rearend from vertical freedom of movement.
These kind of sweeping suspension upgrades usually require major, irrevocable surgery to the frame and body, but the TCI rear clip is completely bolt-on. Moreover, the TCI system makes significant use of supplemental chassis stiffeners, making it a prime candidate for serious road course or autocross cars. The TCI system includes subframe connectors, frame stiffener, torque arm bar, rear Panhard bar, frame brackets, All American coilover shocks, shock crossmember, rigid three-link, reinforcement plates, and pinion support bars.
Total Cost Involved